About Investing in Our Youth

Investing In Our Youth is a not for profit, community based organisation, that promotes the healthy development of children and young people in the South West Region.


The vision of Investing In Our Youth is to create a healthy and safe community environment where all children, young people and families are valued and supported to reach their full potential.


Build resilient, safe and empowered communities through support and partnerships, recognising that our clientele are experts in their own learning.

Strategic Priorities

  • Create opportunities for children, young people and their families to participate fully in our community
  • Advocate for and represent the interests of children and young people in the South West Region
  • Address priorities identified by key stakeholders (with a focus on early intervention)
  • Plan for sustainability of the organisation


Investing In Our Youth could not operate without the time, energy and commitment of volunteer Board members. Members of the Investing In Our Youth board represent a range of disciplines and have a shared interest in collaborating to promote the healthy development of children and young people in the South West region. The conditions under which the organisation operates are detailed in the Investing in Our Youth Constitution.

The Board

Ian Telfor

Ian Telfer


CEO at WA Plantation Resources (WAPRES)

Michael Finn

Board Member

Independent Consultant

Nicky Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Board Member

June Foulds

Board Member

Community Consultant

Beth Ferguson

Board Member

Managing Director - Main Event Media

Board member for IIOY

Christine Gorman

Board Member

Board member for IIOY

Jen Smoker

Board Member

Cherie Hazlitt

Board Member

Our History

Investing In Our Youth Inc grew from a community seminar in 1999 that led to the formation of an ‘Investing in Bunbury’s Youth’ steering committee.

The founding members aligned with a model of prevention and community mobilisation called ‘Communities That Care’. Communities That Care (CTC) was developed in the USA by Professor J. David Hawkins and Professor Richard F. Catalano, at the University of Washington, Seattle. The model identifies and addresses priority areas to promote healthy development before young people become involved in problem behaviours.

There are two main theoretical strands that underpin this approach. Both are greatly influenced by writers in the discipline of social psychology. First, it is claimed that certain risk factors can be identified which are associated with particular types of problem behaviour. Risk factors are claimed to increase the chance that a child will grow into a young person or adult with one or more of the four problem behaviours: involvement in youth crime, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, or school failure (Communities That Care, 1998). Second, the social developmental model of behaviour proposes that protective factors can buffer children and young people against the negative consequences of risk. Protective factors can include issues such as strengthening parental-child relationships, and giving children and young people the opportunities to be involved and valued in their families, schools and communities.

Investing In Our Youth is governed by a Board with representation from government and non-government sectors including health, welfare, education, local and regional government organisations and child and youth service networks. This executive decision making forum advocates for the needs of children, young families and young people in the South West Region as part of a process in which communities seek to reduce the risks facing children, young people and their families, and to enhance those elements that will protect them and promote their well-being.